Thursday, July 14, 2016

A Traders Character

The foundation stones for a balanced success are
character, integrity, faith, love and loyalty. 
Zig Ziglar
What does it take to be a successful trader? Experience? A good "feel" for the market? Mastery of technical and fundamental analysis? While these elements are important, reaching the highest level of "facts and figures" expertise is not in itself sufficient. To achieve real success as a trader, no matter how you define it, you must have all the ingredients of a trader's psychology: good character, a certain personality type, and a particular way of thinking.

Analytical tools and the mental ability to apply them intelligently are absolutely essential to be a success in trading, but genuine success as a whole, takes more than a good brain. It takes Character!

Webster's dictionary defines character as "the complex of mental and ethical traits marking a person." Do you put your own interests and those of your family first? Or are you more concerned with the well being of others? Do you choose honesty over lying, integrity rather than hypocrisy, productiveness over idleness? Can you consistently weigh, based on an internal sense of right and
wrong, justice versus mercy, rationality versus emotional whim, pride versus humility? The process of making those choices and decisions may seem intuitive and hard to explain, but in all cases it begins with your own personal sense of morality and ethics - in other words, your character.

Your character is set by what you value, what you strive for. Your overall ethical structure - your values and your beliefs - determines character: it determines what you do.

For example, suppose two people both value money. That is, both want to make a lot of money. One has a healthy view toward money, seeing it as a means to many desirable ends. The other however holds the subconscious belief that "money is the root of all evil."

If both make a lot of money, the first would be more likely to enjoy it, spending it for a nice home or dream vacation. The other person however, may find it impossible to truly enjoy his money. He may feel a vague uneasiness when spending it, or may be guilt-ridden when booking that dream vacation. If that second person made his money trading the markets, in all probability, his guilt will force his subconscious to lose most if not all of it.

Are your character traits suitable for trading? Definitely worth thinking about!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

A System Everyone Can Use

Your brain is much better
than you think, just use it!
Leonardo Da Vinci
Whether you think you can, or think you can't, you're absolutely right. The novel and the movie "The Da Vinci code" has brought this fascinating individual to the forefront in recent years. I believe that we can learn a great deal from Leonardo Da Vinci as well as others who have gone before us. 

Just like the young learn to survive by following and imitating their parents, a key component to being successful is to imitate successful people. Humans, unlike any other species, can choose whom they would like to imitate. Leonardo Da Vinci felt that throughout our lives, and all of its stages, we should learn to consciously choose role models and to replace the ones we outgrow.

By doing this you will begin a positive adventure toward your worthy goal. For example, if you want to become a better trader, study the great traders, Jesse Livermore, Paul Tudor Jones, and Victor Sperandeo, to name a few. Read what they have written and what is written about them. Study their habits and imitate them. If you want to become a leader, study Abraham Lincoln (he never quit) or Winston Churchill. 

Michael Gelb who wrote the book "How To Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci" writes, "It would take an encyclopedia to begin to do justice to the full scope of Leonardo's accomplishments." Da Vinci had visions. What set him apart is that he acted on his ideas. What's most fascinating is the fact that Da Vinci had a "system" he invented and followed religiously every time he began a new idea. It's a very simple system you can use to help you achieve your goals. 

Da Vinci called it the "Smart System", S M A R T, being an acronym for: 
S -   Specific: Define exactly what you want. 
M - Measurable: figure out how you're going to measure your goals. 
A - Accountability: Commit to being personally responsible for achieving your goals. If part of a team, be sure that accountability is clear. 
R - Realistic/Relevant: Set goals that are ambitious but achievable. Make certain your goals are relevant to your purpose. 
T - Timeline: Set a clear time line for the achievement of your goals.
Great plan, wonderful system, easy word, "SMART"

By the way, I'm sure you know that Da Vinci created the timeless paintings, "Mona Lisa" and "The Last Supper". But did you know that he also created the parachute, bicycle, helicopter, folding chair, alarm clock, and the first comprehensive drawings of the human anatomy! Not a bad role model himself!